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Author Topic: 3.5e vs 4e DnD  (Read 6868 times)

Lectorog

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Re: 3.5e vs 4e DnD
« Reply #15 on: October 02, 2013, 11:53:30 am »

Reasons my group didn't like 4e:

1) Lack of realism, in a sense. Everyone had supernatural powers, without any reason given for why they could do that or why they had to wait a certain amount of time before using them again. They hated the health system the most - at half you're bloodied, but you can just gain health back with abilities and the second wind. Being hit but being shouted back to health just wasn't okay for us.

2) Lack of class variation. All of the classes had a focus on damaging enemies, they just had different ways of going about it. Having highly varied classes, especially with support classes, adds a level of strategy, which is entertaining (even if your strategy is just figuring out how to maximize kills with your spell allotment.

3) Boring encounters. 4e likes big numbers, as as explained in #2, there's not much strategy involved. This leads to really long encounters of doing the same rolls over and over again until the enemies die and then you rest to full health. You can't make it more interesting with more challenging encounters - strategy doesn't work, the players just die unless the dice particularly favor them.
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Neonivek

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Re: 3.5e vs 4e DnD
« Reply #16 on: October 02, 2013, 12:09:07 pm »

Quote
Everyone had supernatural powers, without any reason given for why they could do that or why they had to wait a certain amount of time before using them again

Oddly enough that exists in 3.5 as well.

Though when I compare the point magic system (spells are cast using points) and the spell allotment system... I actually end up preferring the allotment system because it brings more variety to the game, even if it makes less sense.

Though here is how I like to think of them:
At wills take little-no effort to use. Encounters are tiring and require a short rest before you can use them again (once every 2-5 minutes). While Daily use up a large reservoir of your power and can only be used between every long period of rest (8 hour sleep).

Not that I personally think that will help. For martial characters (not EVERYONE has supernatural powers... only supernatural classes do) there really is no reason for it other then game logic.

 
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Boring encounters. 4e likes big numbers

You could change this quite a bit through careful construction of your encounters to vary the encounter quite a bit. Including using terrain to put the party into a strategy kind of mood.

Yet even as I say this you are right. in 3.5 allowed interesting encounters to exist much more easily without so much work. You could select monsters at random and get drastically different results.

In 4e if you selected monsters at random... 90% of the time you would have a similar encounter.

Though if you DM 4e you need to look at monster roles. Each monster is good at doing one particular thing and knowing what their role is gives it away (Skirmishers for example are about freedom of movement). So if there is one thing 4e did better then 3.5 it is monster synergy (monsters work better with other monsters) without it simply being incidental. Monsters simply were designed to be with other monsters in 4e and you could instantly see how they work together.

Quote
2) Lack of class variation. All of the classes had a focus on damaging enemies, they just had different ways of going about it. Having highly varied classes, especially with support classes, adds a level of strategy, which is entertaining (even if your strategy is just figuring out how to maximize kills with your spell allotment.

Ohh it gets worse. The classes that DO manage to break this in 4e do so, so badly that they are pathetic.

4e manages to sidestep the problem in 3.5: In that many classes either do the exact same thing with no variation... Or they are pathetic outside their one role.

It could get absolutely boring playing support roles in 3.5 because you didn't do anything EVER if your role didn't come up... Or you just did things worse.

Sorry I notice it seems like I am defending 4e a lot... So let me state thus

When it comes to being dungeons and dragons, 3.5 does it so much better then 4e and that 4e should NEVER have become dungeons and dragons 4th edition, as a side series sure. Yet why I try to bring up the good points of 4e is because I recognize that even at "what it is trying to do" 3.5 isn't perfect.

4e does have a few great ideas that I am genuinely afraid will go unused because people dislike the system (though from what I here DND next does use the rest system... Great!).

Heck I loved the "No one hit kill" they came up with. One hit kill enemies and spells were terrible and their way around them was quite smart. Dnd Next however is not only including one hit kills but "SUPER" one hit kills (as in one hit kills where there is no save)

So you can tell my concern... Though I think I should stop posting in this topic.
---

Also as for "lack of realism" I cannot believe none of you noticed that one of the bard's attacks is basically insulting the enemy... and it can kill them.

No not a magical insult... an ordinary insult.
« Last Edit: October 02, 2013, 12:21:29 pm by Neonivek »
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LeoLeonardoIII

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Re: 3.5e vs 4e DnD
« Reply #17 on: October 02, 2013, 12:17:27 pm »

OK on the surface I like labeling a monster according to what it'll probably do in combat. Kind of a roleplaying label. It helps the DM envision how it should act without analyzing all of its abilities.

But I chuckle every time I see a description of an encounter where there's like 3 different species of monster-monsters attacking the PCs together. As opposed to people-like monsters, these are totally wacko predator types that would eat each other or at least stay away from each other.

If this Owlbear and this Mudman meet up one day and go, "heck man, let's knock over a convenience store", and work out a strategy so they don't get in each others' way, I would think it was the start of a joke. Sure that gang of Chokers and that flock of Wyverns could synergize in combat, but why would they? Ghouls riding Alligators! That's just goofy. And goofy can be incredibly awesome if it's intended, but there's a sincerity in these encounter suggestions. Like, maybe this Purple Worm and all these Black Puddings have come to an understanding.

They're best of friends.
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sjm9876

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Re: 3.5e vs 4e DnD
« Reply #18 on: October 02, 2013, 12:30:49 pm »

If this Owlbear and this Mudman meet up one day and go, "heck man, let's knock over a convenience store", and work out a strategy so they don't get in each others' way, I would think it was the start of a joke. Sure that gang of Chokers and that flock of Wyverns could synergize in combat, but why would they? Ghouls riding Alligators! That's just goofy. And goofy can be incredibly awesome if it's intended, but there's a sincerity in these encounter suggestions. Like, maybe this Purple Worm and all these Black Puddings have come to an understanding.

They're best of friends.
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Neonivek

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Re: 3.5e vs 4e DnD
« Reply #19 on: October 02, 2013, 12:59:46 pm »

Quote
If this Owlbear and this Mudman meet up one day and go, "heck man, let's knock over a convenience store",

Let me check how viable it is as this interests me.

Owlbear has high-animal intelligence (a 2) and is neutral (being an animal... however magical)... and its description suggests that it is a bloodthirsty killer that likes to kill things on sight.

While a Mudman is neutral and lacks intelligence and attacks any who pass by their lands but otherwise doesn't care about others.

While technically possible for them to work together in some sense, it is just extremely unlikely. The only way this will happen is if they are both being controlled, somehow since Owlbears cannot even be tamed and Mudmen would be immune to most mind altering effects, somehow by a greater being.

What is actually weirder IMO are the creatures who work amazing with themselves (Quicklings for example) but where their description suggests that they dislike doing so.

So they made a creature almost made to be teamed up with others, and they don't do so.

Quote
Sure that gang of Chokers and that flock of Wyverns could synergize in combat, but why would they? Ghouls riding Alligators! That's just goofy

Now for the rest of them!

Chokers are chaotic evil subhuman intelligent creatures and have a culture. They speak undercommon
Wyverns are neutral dumb intelligence creatures and are willing to negotiate. They speak draconic.

From my research what can happen is the Chokers make a deal with Wyverns in exchange for treasure (probably the vast riches of the underground). So YES! They can work together and it wouldn't be a stretch.

Now for a Ghoul Riding an Alligator.

Yeah that is just weird. Why would a ghoul even become a druid or ranger to do so?

Now a Ghoul riding a Giant Skeleton Alligator, now that makes sense and is awesome!

Mind you weird is relative. We are living in a world where tiny birds, tiny fish, and hippos work together. So it isn't like team ups between magical creatures is really stretching the weird meter.
« Last Edit: October 02, 2013, 01:10:56 pm by Neonivek »
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Cthulhu

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Re: 3.5e vs 4e DnD
« Reply #20 on: October 02, 2013, 02:25:59 pm »

The weird monster issue is just DMs being lazy.  With the rules and fluff as divorced as they are in 4e, there's no excuse besides laziness for not modifying (or just making your own) monsters for good, believable encounters.

When I DM 4e, I have as many custom/modified monsters running about as I do unchanged rulebook monsters.  It's so easy to make interesting encounters with unique mechanics in 4e.  I've been playing D&D on and off since I was 12, and I still haven't figured out how to work templates in 3.5e.

I believe I read somewhere about how Gabe from Penny Arcade once either DMed or played in a 4e game where the "boss" monster was the actual terrain, like Shadow of the Colossus or something.
« Last Edit: October 02, 2013, 02:28:00 pm by Cthulhu »
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UristMcDwarf

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Re: 3.5e vs 4e DnD
« Reply #21 on: October 02, 2013, 02:53:37 pm »

How about I state is like this:
3.5 is more fun.
I don't wanna play a game if I don't have a good time.
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Neonivek

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Re: 3.5e vs 4e DnD
« Reply #22 on: October 02, 2013, 02:54:57 pm »

How about I state is like this:
3.5 is more fun.
I don't wanna play a game if I don't have a good time.

Well fair enough... But it isn't that helpful.

I mean I hate sugar frosting.
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Cthulhu

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Re: 3.5e vs 4e DnD
« Reply #23 on: October 02, 2013, 02:58:02 pm »

How about I state is like this:
3.5 is more fun.
I don't wanna play a game if I don't have a good time.

Counterpoint:  4e is more fun.
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UristMcDwarf

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Re: 3.5e vs 4e DnD
« Reply #24 on: October 02, 2013, 02:59:42 pm »

How about I state is like this:
3.5 is more fun.
I don't wanna play a game if I don't have a good time.

Counterpoint:  4e is more fun.

The stakes have raised!
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LeoLeonardoIII

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Re: 3.5e vs 4e DnD
« Reply #25 on: October 02, 2013, 03:23:45 pm »

Oh I'm not saying 4E is actually DMed like that by good DMs. Sorry if that's what came across! I'm saying I keep seeing examples of encounters that are goofy like that, posted in forums and such. I think the drive to do that is that the DM sees that some combinations of monsters would be effective in a fight but not care about why they're working together. You see it in online games a lot too, where some mindless ooze is fighting alongside a bugbear or something, and they don't attack each other because they're both in the "monster faction" in the code.

It's the same sort of problem as, say, a big old dragon in a 10' hallway. Just people not really thinking it through.

So in all, it's more of a general issue than a 4E specific one. I guess 4E, by categorizing monster roles in a fight, just encourages thinking about those monsters as fitting those roles. Like, you need a skirmisher, right? Here's a skirmisher of the right level. A good DM would think about the next step, whether it makes a lick of sense for them to work together.

And of course you can make your own monsters. Perfect! I did say that I thought most of the issues I had with 4E could just be house-ruled. No problem really.

//

And I think my use of the word template was a mistake - what I meant was that there's like a dozen types of Orc when they should really just be Orcs. I'm not down with the whole slew of PC subraces either: Hill/Mountain/Wood/Valley/Dark/Deep/Dim/Extra Spicy/Original Recipe Dwarf etc. Three Elves walk into a bar - now there's a Bar Elf sub-race. Of course that started with PCs back in 1E AD&D with the multiple halflings, and exploded in the 1E Unearthed Arcana with all the Elves and Dwarves. I'm just sayin' you can get away with an Orc being an Orc. He doesn't need to be a Special Orc, whatever type it is. If it's an Orc Cultist it's just an Orc with a funny robe.

I figure the monster variants are there to add spice, so you never know what the next Orc will be like. But that's the benefit of monster races: you can learn something about them as a player and improve your chances in the next encounter. If every band of orcs does a different thing, that may be surprising, but they might as well be different monsters. It's the same beef I have with old D&D and its multiple Undead that just drain levels and require a magic weapon to hit. Multiple humanoids that are just 1 HD higher. Do something different with different monsters! If you want a special Orc make a new monster!

That doesn't mean they all have to be the same. Let's say there's a weird radiation in one dungeon and in there, the orcs are different. But that doesn't mean you'll go two countries over and they're hanging around there too. Used to be, you'd see monsters in a module and they'd show up in a monster manual later. Like the modules were a source for monsters and the monster manuals were codifications of them, encyclopedic. Bullywugs were just a thing somebody made up for an adventure. It's not like there's Bullywugs in all the swamps. But that's what it feels like when you read a monster manual out of context.

So I guess I wouldn't have a problem with Frenzied Orcs and Flametouched Orcs and Potbellied Orcs if they were the rare weird things found in odd corners. Not all three tossed together because they fit different combat roles and "hey they would work together they're all Orcs".

That said, 3E is completely awful when it comes to dumb monster variants. And I'd say 10%-30% of monsters in 1E/2E were dumb monster variants.

I just don't like dumb monster variants.

I feel like this was therapeutic.
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Lectorog

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Re: 3.5e vs 4e DnD
« Reply #26 on: October 02, 2013, 04:51:53 pm »

See, that's how the monsters are supposed to be used. You're not supposed to meet a dozen different orc types in one adventure, unless that adventure is specifically about traveling to orcs. However, encountering one type of orc, going somewhere else, and encountering another type of orc is more interesting than encountering the same monster over and over, and each makes just as much sense in most settings. So it seems what you don't like is how people use monster variants, not the monster variants themselves.
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LeoLeonardoIII

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Re: 3.5e vs 4e DnD
« Reply #27 on: October 02, 2013, 05:13:01 pm »

Yeah, true.

To what extent do you think the 4E description of how things work, encourages people to mash together dumb encounters?

Or does it do some work explaining why you shouldn't?
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Lectorog

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Re: 3.5e vs 4e DnD
« Reply #28 on: October 02, 2013, 05:18:10 pm »

The 4e DM guide doesn't really talk about things like monster habitats and behaviors. It talks about encounter optimization plenty though.

It's like 4e is a combat simulator, and 3.5e is a balanced roleplaying and combat system. 4e's combat has better balance, but a lot of things in it don't "make sense" outside of the rules.
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Cthulhu

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Re: 3.5e vs 4e DnD
« Reply #29 on: October 02, 2013, 05:34:58 pm »

There's quite a bit of good information on how to arrange a campaign as well, mainly based around their tier system.

I won't deny there's a lot of stuff that was clearly designed from a game rules standpoint that doesn't make sense when you bring fluff into it.  Bloody Path is probably the most famous one.  The rogue makes a full move and any enemy who can make an attack of opportunity instead makes it against himself.  A pretty cool move, and when you're fighting armed humanoids it's not that big a deal, Steven Seagal uses Bloody Path all the time.  When you're fighting animals it gets a little strange.  And what the fuck happens if you use it on a beholder?!

The biggest advantage to 4e RP- and fluff-wise is that, since the rules and the fluff exist independently, it's simple to change things.  Monsters I already mentioned, but player abilities can be modified too, I read somewhere about a multiclass warrior with an at-will magic missile who house-ruled it was a shuriken, then got some teleport abilities, an ability that created a duplicate, and changed his class to Ninja.

The biggest disadvantage is that ultimately these changes have no rules basis.  The ninja's shuriken is identical to the wizard's magic missile.  But if you're here to roleplay that shouldn't be an issue :I
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